Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (November 29, 2021) – Since April 2021, less than 1% of people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been vaccinated against COVID-19. In Kinshasa – the province with 60% of all confirmed cases of COVID-19 – only 46,575 people have received at least one dose as of November 11, 2021. Officials have prioritized the implementation of innovative solutions to increase the number of people vaccinated and reduce the effect of the virus at the individual, community and national level.
The high-volume vaccine site, locally called “vaccinodrome”, is one of the vaccination strategies against COVID-19 adopted by the Extended Program on Immunization (EPI) to support ongoing efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus in the DRC. Initiated by VillageReach and supported by other technical and financial partners including WHO, UNICEF, M-RITE, Breakthrough ACTION and USAID, the vaccinodrome aims to increase vaccine coverage against COVID-19 in the country. The strategy is to set up a vaccination site in a high-traffic public place that can accommodate large volumes of people to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccinodrome is an opportunity to strengthen the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has greatly impacted the lives of the Congolese.
With the support of the Provincial Health Division of Kinshasa and the EPI, a vaccinodrome has been set up at the Place des Évolués in the community of Gombe. The first site, which will be installed for the next three months, is located in one of the busiest districts of Kinshasa that is surrounded by several bus stops, hotels, institutions and office buildings. It will target more than 400 people per day and provide equitable access to vaccines in Kinshasa by meeting people where they are and at their point of need.
“VillageReach is working with the Congolese government and the Extended Immunization Program to provide COVID-19 vaccines to the people of Kinshasa. These vaccines are essential in order to reduce the health effect of the virus as well as the socio-economic burden linked to hospitalizations. Through the setup of the vaccinodrome, the DRC government will be able to deploy the vaccines in a practical way that reaches a large number of people,” said Freddy Nkosi, VillageReach’s DRC Country Director.
The launch of the high-volume site has been coupled with a 14-day mass vaccination campaign which aims to improve the level of confidence of those currently unvaccinated and increase the number of vaccination sites. It will also boost the rate of vaccination adherence to help control the spread of the virus and increase herd immunity to COVID-19.
“In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is urgent that hundreds of people are vaccinated daily. We are eager to leverage the vaccinodrome and make vaccines readily available to people, especially where they are needed,” said Dr. Elisabeth Mukamba Musenga, National Director of the EPI program in the DRC.
In accordance with the national COVID-19 vaccine deployment plan, more than four million people are targeted for vaccination by March 2022 across the DRC. Through the high-volume vaccine site setup, the DRC will be positioned to ameliorate the quality of lives for people that are at risk and recover from the impacts of the pandemic.
VillageReach transforms health care delivery to reach everyone, so that each person has the health care needed to thrive. We develop solutions that improve equity and access to primary health care. This includes making sure products are available when and where they are needed and primary health care services are delivered to the most under-reached. Radical collaboration with governments, the private sector and other partners strengthen our ability to scale and sustain these solutions. Our work increases access to quality health care for 46 million people in sub-Saharan Africa.
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